WR Would be a Solid Day 2 Call
Last week might have been the official Groundhog Day in the country, but for Baltimore Ravens fans, the real Groundhog Day is the beginning of every offseason, when wide receiver is highlighted as a major need.
Seemingly since the inception of the franchise, discussing potential wide receiver options in the draft and free agency has become a tradition, as the Ravens roster has never been flooded with talent at the position. This offseason is no different, as Mike Wallace is set to hit free agency (although there is a very good chance he returns to Baltimore), Jeremy Maclin is coming off an injury-plagued and disappointing first year with the Ravens and Breshad Perriman is, well, Breshad Perriman.
It will not be a shock to see the Ravens make one or two minor-to-mid-level signings at receiver in free agency to add depth, but the draft is also an option to add talented youth to the group.
Assistant GM Eric DeCosta highlighted the second day of the draft as a solid starting point to start adding a receiver. This is likely a result of the fact that Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley is the only consensus top-20 pick at the position, and there is a very solid chance he is off the board when the Ravens make their pick at 16.
But one player who stands out as a potential option on day two is Texas A&M’s Christian Kirk. The speedy 5’11”, 200-pound receiver possesses an intriguing blend of speed, agility and dependability as a pass catcher. For a Ravens offense that has lacked big-play threats in recent years, Kirk is the type of player who could add a jolt of athleticism to the receiving corp.
In terms of smooth and nimble route running, Kirk stands out.
Given his size deficiencies, Kirk has to find other ways to win, which is exactly what he does by running crisp routes and making quick, clear, decisive cuts. In the short-yardage game, Kirk can be a difference maker as someone who can do damage after the catch.
Simply put: get the ball in Kirk’s hands and let him do the rest.
He excels at all levels of the field, and can make just as much of an impact on screens as he can on go routes. But lost in those types of plays are intermediate standout catches, such as corner routes in the red zone.
In a draft class defunct of high-end receiver talent, Kirk stands out as one of the more complete non-Ridley receivers in the draft. His speed, route-running and agility are all above average, and while he is not as physical as other receivers, he gets open often enough to offset that deficiency.
Plus, given the state of the Ravens’ kick return game post-Jacoby Jones, could Kirk solve that problem as well?
As DeCosta mentioned, since there is no clear No. 2 receiver after Ridley, the second day of the draft may be the sweet spot to find a talented option who could make an early impact. Kirk is grouped together with the likes of SMU’s Courtland Sutton, Oklahoma State’s James Washington and Memphis’ Anthony Miller, among several others.
Kirk would give quarterback Joe Flacco a proper blend of short-game dependability, as well as deep-threat ability, and would add much-needed pure athleticism to Baltimore’s group of skill players.
Is Kirk a receiver you want to see in Baltimore next season?